[PRESS RELEASE]  According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, 2009 “Sexual exploitation makes up 79% of identified forms of human trafficking, including prostitution, forced stripping, massage services and pornography.”  And it is with great distress, that we now have visible evidence that this epidemic has reached our shores.

We, the members of the St. Lucia Labour Party Women’s Organization (SLPWO) would like to extend our sincere sympathy, on behalf of our organisation and the St. Lucia Labour Party, to the young lady who was caught up in this web of lies, deceit and torment.   Learning that these kinds of atrocities take place on our beautiful island is truly a blow to all the work that has been done in educating our young people on their worth and fighting for human and equal rights for all.   To be captured, transported and used for the pleasures of demented individuals is the nightmare of every woman not just in St. Lucia but in every country around the world.  As an aunt of two beautiful nieces and a woman myself, this plague is a nightmare of women everywhere.   It is truly the vilest of individuals who would prey on the weak and marginalized in such a manner.  We send out our best wishes to you and do hope that you are able to make a speedy recovery and that you will soon be returned to the arms of your loved ones.

I would like to say thank you to the Saint Lucian woman who came to the rescue of this young lady.  Many times we are quick to judge and ostracize our younger generation without giving a second thought to their immediate situations.  Thank you for your quick thinking and your kind heart which may have saved this young woman’s life.

I would also like to like to draw your attention to the brutal rape and beating of Rosie, one of our transient citizens.  Rosie has since succumbed to the many injuries she suffered on that dreadful evening.

While aspects of these crimes are different, the common denominator in both is the predatory actions of these individuals.   When we have predators who move within our midst, in our communities, business places, schools and homes; it makes for a very dismal outlook on our country’s future.

I urge the relevant authorities to ensure that these matters are investigated thoroughly, and that the perpetrators are caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  I ask this of you in an effort to reinstate the confidence of the populace in the police force and the rule of law in our country.  We are well aware that many of these kinds of crimes go unreported.  Hopefully with the resolution of this incident we can encourage other young women to come forward, report these crimes and assist with investigations till all relevant perpetrators are caught and prosecuted.

I also ask my fellow St. Lucians, both male and female, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  Look out for one another while you are out together or even just while you are walking on our roads.  Check your environments and always be alert. 

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